I am sure I'm the last person in the craftosphere to see the line of Martha Stewart stuff for scrapbooking and crafting at Michaels. I don't live that close to a Michaels and hadn't been there in months, but I've been there three times now in the last week. I was sourcing things for my own doll kits and I felt I had to get this Martha kit to make the snowy village because, as Andy says, "Kits are cool."
I guess it's early to be talking Christmas, but not for me. I decided to make all the Christmas presents for the women and kids in my family this year. I hope this is a good idea. I am going to make personalized bags all from fabrics in my stash. Andy and I usually make our family presents every year, and we mostly enjoy it, unless we've started too late and then we start flailing and thrashing about in a panic. You've seen what it looks like when we do that on the porch. It's not pretty. But usually it goes well and it really makes the season feel special to me. Last year Andy silkscreened personalized stationery for everyone. The year before was cookbooks and homemade CDs, the year before that monogrammed polarfleece blankets. The year before that was felt Christmas stockings. I think the year before that was . . . gift cards — every single person got a gift card, no matter what. Whoopsie. I get burnt out, and then it's the exact opposite of "special, handmade." But what can you do. Every year I have good intentions, because I enjoy it, I really do, especially if I start early. This year, especially since I won't be making a bunch of stuff for Posie (alas), I think it will work fine, and I am desperate for some time with a needle and thread in my hand.
I like to wrap for Christmas, too. I really like to wrap. I thought these little paper stars were so pretty. It's a free handout at the display.
These are the kinds of Christmas colors I've always loved. I'm so happy that less traditional colors for the holidays are popular now. These mints and peaches remind me of these little cream-cheese cookies my mom made every Christmas — flaky little circles with a blob of pale pink or a blob of pale green icing. She would begin baking weeks in advance, since she routinely gave big plates of incredible cookies to all of her friends. And I'd have to try hard not to suss out which tin the pink-and-mint-green pillows were waiting in so I could keep myself away. I never liked anything with nuts, or anything with marshmallows, and not really anything chocolate. But a vanilla cookie with some pastel-colored frosting on it? Bumpa-da-bum: Charge!
Those stars would look so pretty hanging over the mantle above the village, wouldn't they? Here's the link to the Frosty Village Decoration Kit, too — they were out of this when I went back the next day. There is some totally awesome stuff over there, very cool boxes to make and other kits. But I do think pasting little stars together will bring me hours of mental relaxation and Serenity Now. Cutting and pasting is another one of those wonderful things that is still cheaper than therapy, and I think works just as well as therapy. Sometimes better.
I went down the road to check out the new Martha stuff at Kmart, too, but I didn't get anything. I don't know why. It's really cute stuff, and it all looked so pretty in the little Kmart catalog that came in the mail the other day, but then when I got there, I don't know. They don't carry paint at Kmart anymore, did you know that? I used to buy a lot of Martha paint there, but the guy said she sells it at Sears now. Man, she gets around.
I don't — my foot has been protesting quite a bit lately (and Andy, honey, I was definitely taking all the stuff you do around here for granted, now that you've been on the sofa for a week. So in case I haven't said it often enough, thank you for everything you usually attend to here at the homestead, and, um, er, are you feeling better now? You are? Phew! [dives exhaustedly for sofa the minute he stands up] ). So I'm going to try to stay grounded and play with putting together my own doll kits.
Thank you for all the feedback on those — I am so excited that you are interested. I was designing the pattern yesterday and I couldn't stop smiling. I really haven't felt this excited in a while. It feels so good to get back in the studio and plan things for you again. These are going to be so cool, cooler than I thought, actually. And yes, in answer to some of you who've asked, I've decided to include paint, varnish, and glitter paint in addition to the doll pins, heads, stands, fabric, and pipecleaners in every kit, so you'll truly have almost everything you need , including the full-color pattern cards. And I am doing a LOT of kits so everyone will be able to have as many as they need. They will make great presents for friends and neighbors and kids and teachers and anyone who might enjoy spending a couple of hours with Christmas crafts (that is, everyone, no?). I will put them on sale some day next week (I'll let you know for sure once I am confident I have all the supplies I need), and yes, I do ship airmail overseas (you just shoot the order through Paypal, as usual, and then I will catch up with you later for the shipping balance, depending on where you are).
We have puppy school later today, so I'd better get that little Clover Meadow ready and on her best behavior. Right now I'm watching her sprint giant figure-eights through the living and dining rooms with a big plushy trout in her mouth. It's like it's chasing her, except that it's in her mouth, and, . . . like that. Puppy short stories. She's the author, protagonist, and narrator of some great ones. My favorite is "I'm Going to Make this Ice Cube Disappear — GONE! I Am Awesome!"